the "Holiday 7"
copyright 2003 by Greg Landry, M.S.
As the holidays approach, a frequent question
from my clients and subscribers is "How
can I avoid gaining weight during the holidays"?
Their concern is legitimate. The average
American adult gains seven pounds of fat
between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.
However, with a little know-how and effort
you don't have to be "average".
In fact, I've seen many people actually
lose a few pounds over the holidays without
depriving themselves. One of my clients
said it best, "Greg, I can't tell you
how good it feels to have lost three pounds
during the holidays instead of gaining ten
pounds as I used to do. My friends are jealous.
It's January 2nd and I'm feeling (and looking)
lean and mean. And, best of all, I actually
enjoyed the holidays more because I always
felt energetic. In years past, inactivity
and lots of food made me constantly sluggish
Here are a few tips that can bring you
into the new year without any new pounds...
1. Do some type of exercise everyday, preferably
every morning (see article on morning exercise
by sending any email message to...) Morning@Landry.com
Now this can be as simple as a 15 minute
walk some days but it's VERY important that
you do something everyday. Physiologically,
this keeps your metabolism elevated, helps
to control your appetite, and ENERGIZES
Mentally, daily exercise increases your
mental acuity for hours after exercise,
and it keeps you in a "healthy"
frame of mind. Many people tell me that
daily exercise helps them to make better
food choices because it makes them feel
like they are doing something healthy for
themselves. Commit to doing at least 15
2. Don't deprive yourself of those holiday
goodies that you enjoy. Tell yourself that
you can eat whatever you'd like to as long
as it's in moderation. For example, eat
one Christmas brownie instead of five. Take
small bites of that brownie, chew it well,
savor every bite so you can really enjoy
the taste rather than rushing to swallow
it. The same for meals, don't deprive yourself
of the foods you enjoy but eat them in moderation
and savor every bite.
3. Have lots of "healthy" foods
available at your home during the holidays.
Make a big fruit salad to keep in the frig
when you need a snack. Have some of your
favorite veggies ready to eat for when you're
hungry. Make a big salad and keep it ready
to eat in the frig.
4. Don't allow yourself to get too hungry.
The hungrier you are, the less control you
have over your eating. Always eat some healthy,
filling food before going to a party, dinner,
or any situation where you will be exposed
to lots of tempting food.
5. Strictly limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol
is really bad news - I call it the "triple
whammy"! it depresses your metabolism,
stimulates your appetite, and it's loaded
with calories. Alcohol has as many calories
per gram as fat!
6. Incorporate "intervals" into
your aerobic exercise.
Intervals are brief periods (about one
minute) of more intense exercise mixed into
your regular aerobic exercise sessions.
For example, if you're walking, you would
do a one minute interval of faster walking
about every five minutes throughout your
Here's how it will look - you'll start
with your normal three to five minute warm-up
and then five minutes into your workout
you do your first interval, one minute of
faster walking (or perhaps jogging). At
the end of that minute you should be "winded"
and ready to slow down. You'll slow down
to your normal exercising speed for the
next four minutes and then your fifth minute
is another one minute interval. This pattern
continues throughout your exercise session.
You'll derive several benefits from intervals:
- Intervals can help you to get past a
weight loss plateau.
- Intervals increase your aerobic fitness
level by "pushing the envelope".
While doing your interval you cross the
anaerobic threshold into anaerobic metabolism,
forcing your body to become conditioned
to more intense exercise.
- Your increased level of fitness means
that a given level of exercise will feel
easier and that you will be able to exercise
at a higher intensity which "burns"
- Your increased level of fitness also
means that you will be less fatigued from
daily activities and you'll have more "energy"
throughout the day.
- Intervals increase your basal metabolic
rate (BMR), causing you to burn more calories
- Intervals cause you to "burn"
more calories during your exercise session
and for several hours afterwards.
- Intervals will tone the involved muscles
to a greater degree than your regular aerobic
- Intervals can make your exercise less
monotonous and help the time pass more quickly.
- Intervals will energize you!
So, get energized with some daily exercise
and moderate food consumption and REALLY
enjoy the holidays.. AND January 2. :)
Author and exercise physiologist, Greg
Landry, offers weight loss success stories
and unique weight loss and fitness programs
at his site: http://www.FitnessForYou.org
copyright 2003 by Greg Landry, M.S.